Tonight we’re going to party like its 1859! Join us for cake and a glass of bubbly to celebrate the 200th birthday of Joshua Abraham Norton, the San Francisco businessman who one day in 1859 proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States and (in 1862) Protector of Mexico.
The theme of the event is "a day in life of Emperor Norton" as Mechanics' Institute's 1866 building, formerly located on the site of the Institute's current location, was one of the Emperor’s regular afternoon haunts: a place where he wrote many of his Proclamations — on Institute stationery — and where he is reputed to have played a mean game of chess.
Attendees are encouraged to dress according to the San Francisco style during the period of the Emperor's reign: 1860s and 1870s. Bonus points for those dressed as other storied Mechanics' Institute figures of the Emperor's acquaintance. If Eadweard Muybridge, Andrew Smith Hallidie or Mary Ellen Pleasant is in your costume repertoire, now is your moment!
This event is part of Emperor Norton at 200, a series of exhibits, talks, toasts and other special events organized by The Emperor's Bridge Campaign, in partnership with Bay Area institutions, to mark the bicentennial of Emperor Norton's birth. To learn about other events in the series, please visit http://www.EmperorNortonat200.org.